Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 13 – “Fulgencio”

KIP MOONEY: I’ll just come right out and say it: the last five minutes of this week’s episode are the funniest since the pilot’s introduction of Lily. That Godfather parody is so spot-on, so hilarious, that I just want to watch it over and over.

But how did we get there? Phil, so determined to resolve his kids’ problems through kindness, ends up hilariously exacerbating each situation, including asking a lesbian neighbor out for a “boys’ night.” This episode featured Grade-A material for Ty Burrell, and he should definitely submit it for his Emmy consideration (though last week’s episode would have won him the award, too).

It wasn’t just Phil who journeyed to the dark side, though. In a hilarious reveal, we find out that Gloria (who has been known to decapitate rats and fake labor) is actually even more diabolical than we thought. Not only did she steal her sister’s job opportunity in America, she actually stole Jay from her as well. This season has introduced material that has made nearly every character unlikable in some capacity, but it’s only endeared me to the show more.

And who has become this show’s secret weapon but Lily? Though she’s previously only existed to give Cam and Mitch some rote parenting material, she’s turned into a sass queen, calling out her dads for taking too long (“Today, ladies!”) and complaining too much (“Do I need to call you a wambulance?”). Though they both assume she’s picked up their habit for being too catty, it’s actually Claire whose viciousness has rubbed off on her.

Now, as great as Elizabeth Pena (a great Latina character actress best known for John Sayles’ classic Lone Star) was as Gloria’s mom, her mother-in-law stuff was nothing we haven’t seen before. She deserves a better part, but a recurring role on one of the biggest shows on TV is nothing to scoff at. I did like the little scene where Claire explains to Jay that he’s finally the one with a relative he can’t win over, no matter how hard he tries. “Son of a bitch, I’m Phil.”

If everyone was as funny as Phil—and a lot of characters are getting there—this show will be worth tuning into for years to come.

Crispin, on his boyfriend’s DIY perm: “What do you think? Drag production of Annie?”

Jay: “Fulgencio Umberto Pritchett? His initials are going to be F.U. Pritchett, and that’s exactly how I feel right now.”

Phil: “Never ask me about my business, Claire.”

About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney is a recent graduate of UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism and big-time opponent of going to grad school. Working as a freelance writer in the DFW area, he's always ready to go in-depth with his opinions on film, television, music, religion and the sorry state of politics in America. He continues to work independently, as each of his non-college jobs has resulted in the company experiencing serious financial troubles once he leaves, including Blockbuster and the trashy restaurant D's Country Kitchen. (The lesson here is hire him, but don't let him leave.) His literary heroes include Roger Ebert, Donald Miller and Matt Taibbi. Kip has written for The Dallas Morning News and Pegasus News and served as editor-in-chief for the North Texas Daily, but he is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Christian Lander's well-known blog Stuff White People Like.
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